You don't have to be of Italian descent to enjoy the Belmar Feast of San Gennaro at the Jersey Shore. This year's cultural and culinary celebration takes place Saturday, September 16, in downtown Belmar, New Jersey, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
New for 2023: A meet-and-greet and book signing by WNBC's Produce Pete from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., followed by a pet costume contest at 3:00 p.m.
The Belmar San Gennaro Festival begins at 10:00 a.m. with a special Mass of San Gennaro at St. Rose Catholic Church in Belmar. The Mass will be presented in Italian. Immediately after Mass, join the procession down Main Street, where the Statue of San Gennaro will be proudly displayed in the center of Main Street for all to see and honor.
Shops and restaurants throughout Belmar will also be open during the event, so be sure to explore the downtown business district while you're at the festival. Check out our Belmar shopping and dining guide!
Book Signing By Produce Pete
Saturday, September 16, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Don't miss your chance to meet Pete Napolitano, who you may recognize as "Produce Pete" from WNBC television. Napolitano will be signing copies of his new autobiography, They Call Me Produce Pete, at the Belmar San Gennaro Festival from noon to 2:00 p.m. The book chronicles Produce Pete's humble beginnings as a 5-year-old in the family produce business, to his legendary 30-year span on the Weekend Today in New York show, where he educates viewers about how to choose, store, and prepare fresh seasonal produce. Napolitano's tried-and-true family recipes are also included, such as lemon cake and baked crusty-crumb asparagus.
Dog Costume Contest
Saturday, September 16, 3:00 p.m.
Pyanoe Plaza Main Stage
Dress up your furry canine friends for the first annual Cagnolino (Doggie) Costume Contest at the Belmar San Gennaro Festival. To pre-register your dog, complete this form by September 15:
Visit https://forms.gle/AHSxnRBoAfvAcpcX6 or stop by Belmar Borough Hall, 601 Main Street, Belmar, New Jersey 07719.
Dogs only - no other pets or animals permitted.
Dogs must wear ID tag, be on a leash, and under the owner's control at all times.
Owners assume full responsibility for the behaviors and actions of their dog.
Cannoli-Eating Contest Presented By Sweet!
Saturday, September 16, 12:00 p.m.
Two divisions: Adults and kids (age 12 and under)
$20.00 entry fee
A highlight of the Belmar San Gennaro festival is the cannoli-eating contest sponsored by Sweet!, a family-owned candy and confection shop on 10th Avenue in the downtown business district. Proceeds from the $20.00 admission fee will be donated to the Saint Vincent de Paul Society of St. Rose Parish.
St. Vincent de Paul is a local faith-based charitable organization that helps community members in need of assistance with housing, medical expenses, clothing, transportation, food, and other basic necessities. The St. Vincent de Paul society also owns and operates Selective Seconds, 911 Main Street, a thrift shop that sells gently used furniture and home décor.
In previous years, proceeds from the cannoli-eating contest were donated to the Belmar Circle of Friends HYDAS, a non-profit that benefits young adults with special needs, as well as to MidAtlantic Bulldog Rescue for the medical care of their bulldogs in need.
All participants in the Sweet! cannoli-eating contest will receive a commemorative T-shirt and a 10 percent discount on store items or custom-order cakes or cupcakes. Winners of each division will receive a $25.00 Sweet! gift certificate, a half pound of fudge or taffy, and recognition on a custom-engraved plaque displayed in the shop for all to see.
RELATED: Visit Belmar, New Jersey
The original San Gennaro Festival started in Little Italy (New York) in 1926 by recently arrived Italian immigrants to honor the patron saint of their hometown, St. Gennaro. Belmar launched its inaugural Feast of San Gennaro in 2012 as a way of giving back to the Jersey Shore community.
Interested in being part of the vendor market at the Feast of San Gennaro in Belmar? The Borough is looking for local New Jersey food trucks and crafters. Submit your application here via this form.
Belmar San Gennaro Festival
Saturday, September 16, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Rain Date: Sunday, September 17
Pyanoe Plaza 9th Avenue and Main Street
Belmar, New Jersey 07719
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Story and photos © copyright by Christine Cardellino, owner of www.VacationInBelmar.com and publisher of the award-winning Belmar Beachcomber Blog, a travel and tourism guide for the Belmar region of the Jersey Shore. Do not copy any content (including images) without our permission. All rights reserved.